03.27.08

SF Presses The History Eraser Button On The Sultan Of Surly

Posted in Baseball at 12:54 pm by

The SF Chronicle’s Scott Ostler attended the Giants’ Media Day and is struck by the absence of any monument to Barry Bonds’ career accomplishments at AT&T Park, the stadium he arguably helped construct. Even worse, I bet Ostler couldn’t find a statue of Rod Beck, either.

Bonds’ locker-stall nameplate has been replaced by Matt Cain’s. Last season, that entire four-locker wall of the clubhouse was shared by Barry Zito, Bonds, Bonds’ home-entertainment unit, his emotional baggage, and the stragglers of his infamous posse/staff. Now it will be Zito and Cain.

And come Opening Day, instead of dozens of pesky media people milling about the clubhouse waiting to not talk to Bonds, there will be dozens of pesky media people milling about the clubhouse waiting to talk to players about how nice it is not to deal with the Bonds circus.

The team’s new motto alludes to the sans-a-Bonds look. The motto is “All out all season,” because “Now 240 pounds lighter!” would have been too mean-spirited.

The ballpark itself has been de-Bondsed. Gone are the huge cloth murals of Bonds and “756″ that hung from the lighting towers flanking the centerfield scoreboard. Gone is the Bonds career-home-run “scoreboard.”

The leftfield fence now features a long green blank between the ads for Chevron and Bud Lite. Last season, that space was devoted to Bonds – first a mural of Bonds and three other Giants’ legends, and then a “Road to History” mural featuring a photo of Bonds and a highway sign with his name and team logo.

It makes sense that those temporary tributes would be removed. But for the last few years the Giants milked Bonds’ home-run-record chase for all it was worth, and now not even a simple “756″ sign or some other visible nod to the man and the record?

There is a small sign urging fans to “Remember ’51,” the year of Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World.” But nothing to help them remember 756.

I asked team president Peter Magowan if management considered some kind of visible tribute to Bonds and his record.

“No,” Magowan said, eloquently.

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